Karen Fratti
September 07, 2017 4:32 am
Bettmann/Getty Images

Being a 20-something is both the best and the worst thing in the world. Older people assume that you’re having the most fun in the world, but you’re often sort of just terrified about where your life is heading and figuring out how to pay your rent. But even though your plate perpetually seems hella full, there are some things you should do in your 20s that you’ll thank yourself for when you’re older — and none of them are all that hard.

And don’t worry, if you’re already no longer a 20-something, you can still catch up.

Some of these are mainly common sense things, but something about being young makes us feel like we don’t really have to. Kind of like how healthy people think they don’t need health insurance until they get sick. Because anything can happen between 25 years and old 60 years old, right? That’s true, but the transition doesn’t have to be as hard as some people make it.

You’ll be thrilled with your foresight if you get started on these habits early on.

1Wear sunscreen.

You’ve almost certainly heard this before. Everyone is going to get wrinkles one day, and they’re not as bad as every beauty magazine you’ve ever read makes them out to be. But between the risk of sun damage and even skin cancer, wearing sunscreen is so important! If you invest in sunscreen now, you can save on crazy expensive skin care products later on and treat yourself to something else. Ya know, as a reward for your responsible skincare habits.

2Start a savings account.

It’s so hard to do when you’re living check-to-check and barely know where you’re going to find the cash for a much-needed pedicure this weekend. But if you can, start saving in your twenties — and stick to it. You might not be a millionaire by the time you’re 60 just from that (although one never can tell), but being smart about your money is a life skill that becomes all the more important when you’re older.

3Do the big, crazy thing that you might not be able to do later.

There are so many opportunities that come your way when you’re in your twenties, like taking a job far away or not taking an internship and opting to travel to another continent for a summer. Whatever, it can literally be anything that you’re thinking about doing but worried about the consequences of later on.

It’s true that you might very possibly have this chance again, and very few life experiences are age specific. But when you’re under thirty, the chances of not having too much to hold you back are much higher. So make the leap, because you’re going to want to be able to tell everyone in your senior living community about it later.

4Figure out what your body and brain need to feel their best.

People who know their bodies and develop a routine that takes the best possible care of them when they’re younger are so much better off later in life. According to The New York Times, exercise slows down cell aging, which just means better all-around health later on.

5Take note of your vices.

Maybe it’s smoking or drinking too much or not knowing how to stand up for yourself. Quitting any kind of bad habit — physical or emotional — can take years of practice. So you don’t have to quit anything just yet, but taking notice now means you’ll be so much more zen and wise when you’re 60 years old.

6Date as much as you want.

We’re fairly sure that by the time we’re 60 years old, we’ll be living happily ever after with our soulmate or still happily swinging from partner to partner. But in your twenties, dates and sexual partners should be taken advantage of as much as you want (or TBH, as little as you want). If dating is something you enjoy doing, your twenties are the perfect time to meet as many human beings as possible — it’s fun as hell and might mean more rewarding “grown-up” relationships later in life.